Slamming her country’s government for showing “high passion” for war criminals Salauddin and Mujahid, Pakistan’s top rights activist Asma Jahangir said the government was only confirming the fact that two men were “political agents.”
The human rights activist was reacting to the response by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, expressing anguish and concern over the execution of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhry and Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.
While talking to the reporters at the Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday, she harshly criticised the Pakistan government for demonstrating “disproportionately high passion” against the execution of the two infamous war criminals.
“The government was only confirming the fact that two men were political agents and working for the cause of Pakistan,” Pakistani daily The Dawn quoted the lawyer.
She further said the response sent a message that the Pakistan government had extraordinary love and affection for the opposition members in Bangladesh than its citizens.
“Equal passion, we hope, will be shown by the government for the people on death row in Pakistan than being hanged elsewhere in the world by denying due process,” she told reporters.
Asma said Pakistan should first take up the issue of capital punishment through unfair trials at home and of those Pakistanis who were being consistently executed in Saudi Arabia and then show disproportionately high passion for the politicians of Bangladesh.
Are these two Bangladeshi more important than the people living in Pakistan, she asked. “If the answer is in the affirmative, the government should also explain why and what for.”
Noting that the hangings in Bangladesh would further deepen the divide and haunt its politics in the future, she said: “All human rights activists who monitored these trials agreed that due process had not been given to the two accused.
“We’ve condemned the unfortunate developments and even given out urgent appeals to the Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations in this regard,” she added.
However, she also claimed that the two politicians had been executed without affording due process, but regretted that the same right was being denied to the people facing trial in military courts on terrorism charges.
“We’re against the death penalty and unfair trials whether in Pakistan, Bangladesh or elsewhere,” she said, adding that everybody knew that the trial of the two Bangladeshi politicians was flawed, but the role of Pakistan was something which was not understandable.
“If they [Pakistan government] are against the death penalty or the undue process, they should look into the trials being conducted by the military courts,” she said.